Byline: The Log Staff
CHULA VISTA — South Bayfront Sailing Association — a nonprofit organization that offers educational programs centered around maritime history, science and industry — has purchased the 136-foot tall ship Bill of Rights from the Los Angeles Maritime Institute. The working two-masted schooner has been moved to Chula Vista and will be used to provide sailing events and educational programs, according to the association.
Bill of Rights is certified to carry passengers, 30 guests and eight crewmembers in open waters, and up to 83 guests in voyages of less than 12 hours.
Built in 1971 in Maine, Bill of Rights led a tall ship parade into New York Harbor during the OpsSail celebration. In the late 1980s, the ship journeyed to the West Coast — and it was recently used in adventure sailing and youth educational programs in the Channel Islands Harbor area. Over the past six years, more than 10,000 students have been part of the award-winning sailing program.
South Bayfront Sailing Association’s primary goal is to create an exciting sailing program for the Chula Vista harbor area, the group announced in a recent statement. “We were chartered to provide educational classroom programs; shared access to a variety of boats, from sailing dinghies to small keel boats; and to provide junior sailing classes and American Sailing Association certification in the South Bay Region,” the organization said.
“Our partnership with the South Bayfront Artists provides innovative opportunities to connect the cultural arts to the Bayfront community,” the association added. “We have now expanded our program to embrace the opportunities provided by Bill of Rights and create innovative sailing events and programs for the community.”
Because of the association’s relationship with the Los Angeles Maritime Institute and the marine repair facilities and supporting businesses in Chula Vista, the group plans to start a wooden boat school that teaches math skills while students build a skiff.
The association quoted Joe Youcha, author of “Build to Teach,” in summarizing the program’s philosophy: “Build a boat with kids, and they’ll learn fractions, geometry and maybe even a little bit of algebra. More important, they’ll learn that without math, they can’t do the job right.”